Information for the public

Ustekinumab (Stelara) is available on the NHS. It is a possible treatment for adults with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis when conventional therapy or a biological agent is not tolerated or is not suitable, only if:

  • a tumour necrosis factor (TNF)‑alpha inhibitor has failed (that is, the disease has responded inadequately or has lost response to treatment) or
  • a TNF‑alpha inhibitor cannot be tolerated or is not suitable.

Conventional therapies include aminosalicylates, corticosteroids or thiopurines. Biologicals include vedolizumab. TNF-alpha inhibitors include infliximab, adalimumab and golimumab.

If you are not eligible for ustekinumab but are already having it, you should be able to continue until you and your doctor decide when best to stop.

Is this treatment right for me?

Your healthcare professionals should give you clear information, talk with you about your options and listen carefully to your views and concerns. Your family can be involved too, if you wish. Read more about making decisions about your care.

Questions to think about

  • How well does it work compared with other treatments?
  • What are the risks or side effects? How likely are they?
  • How will the treatment affect my day-to-day life?
  • What happens if the treatment does not work?
  • What happens if I do not want to have treatment? Are there other treatments available?

Information and support

The NHS website may be a good place to find out more.

This organisation can give you advice and support: Crohn's and Colitis UK, 0300 222 5700

You can also get support from your local Healthwatch.

NICE is not responsible for the quality or accuracy of any information or advice provided by these organisations.

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